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Ben Dreyfus

Page history last edited by Ben Dreyfus 4 years, 8 months ago

 

 

University of Maryland, Dept. of Physics

082 Regents Drive

College Park, MD 20742

 

dreyfus (at) umd.edu

 

Background:

I am a Research Associate in the University of Maryland Physics Education Research Group.  I completed my Ph.D. in the UMD PERG in 2014, and also graduated from the City College of New York in 2004 with an M.A. in science education, and Harvard University in 2001 with an A.B. in physics.  Before coming to Maryland, I taught high school physics in New York City for 6 years, at the Frederick Douglass Academy and Stuyvesant High School, and also have experience with radiation chemistry at Argonne National Laboratory and near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) at Nanonics Imaging.

 

Current Projects:

 

Teaching:

  • PHYS 131 (Fundamentals of Physics for Life Sciences I), Fall 2014, Spring 2015

 

Dissertation Abstract:

Interdisciplinary Reasoning about Energy in an Introductory Physics Course for the Life Sciences

 

Energy is a unifying concept that cuts across physics, chemistry, and biology. However, students who study all three disciplines can end up with a fragmented understanding of energy. This dissertation sits at the intersection of two active areas of current research: the teaching and learning of energy, and interdisciplinary science education (particularly the intersection of physics and biology).

 

The context for this research is an introductory physics course for undergraduate life sciences majors that is reformed to build stronger interdisciplinary connections between physics, biology, and chemistry. An approach to energy that incorporates chemical bonds and chemical reactions is better equipped to meet the needs of life sciences students than a traditional introductory physics approach that focuses primarily on mechanical energy, and so we present a curricular thread for chemical energy in the physics course.

 

Our first set of case studies examines student reasoning about ATP hydrolysis, a biochemically significant reaction that powers various processes in the cell. We observe students expressing both that an energy input is required to break a chemical bond (which they associate with physics) and that energy is released when the phosphate bond is broken in ATP (which they associate with biology). We use these case studies to articulate a model of interdisciplinary reconciliation: building coherent connections between concepts from different disciplines while understanding each concept in its own disciplinary context and justifying the modeling choices in deciding when to use each disciplinary model.

 

Our second study looks at ontological metaphors for energy: metaphors about what kind of thing energy is. Two ontological metaphors for energy that have previously been documented include energy as a substance and energy as a location. We argue for the use of negative energy in modeling chemical energy in an interdisciplinary context, and for the use of a blended substance/location ontology in reasoning about negative energy. Our data show students and experts using the blended ontology productively when the two ontologies are combined in a coherent structure, as well as students getting confused when the ontologies are not coherently combined.

 

Papers:

 

Presentations:

  • "Classical-ish": Negotiating the boundary between classical and quantum particles, 28 July 2015, AAPT National Meeting, College Park, MD.
  • Dynamics of how students conceptualize the particle in a box, 12 April 2015, APS April Meeting, Baltimore, MD.
  • Developing an IPLS course around interdisciplinary reconciliation and coherence, 27 February 2015, National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) conference, Baltimore, MD.
  • Identifying blended ontologies for energy, 30 July 2014, AAPT National Meeting, Minneapolis, MN.
  • Connecting physics and biology through energy, 2 June 2014, Department of Science Teaching, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.
  • Negative energy:  Why interdisciplinary physics requires multiple ontologies, 15 July 2013, AAPT National Meeting, Portland, OR.
  • Negative energy:  Why interdisciplinary physics requires multiple ontologies, 18 June 2013, Foundations and Frontiers of Physics Education Research (FFPER) Graduate Symposium, Bar Harbor, ME.
  • The challenges and successes of an interdisciplinary approach to energy in physics and biology, 25 March 2013, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ.
  • The challenge: Integrating different approaches to physics from different disciplines (with Benjamin D. Geller), 27 November 2012, Bioscience Day Teachers' Symposium, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
  • Students' interdisciplinary reasoning about "high-energy bonds" and ATP, 31 July 2012, AAPT National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Student views of macroscopic and microscopic energy in physics and biology, 2 August 2011, AAPT National Meeting, Omaha, NE.

 

Posters:

  • B.W. Dreyfus, E.R. Sohr, A. Gupta, and A. Elby, "Classical-ish": Negotiating the boundary between classical and quantum particles, July 2015, AAPT National Meeting & Physics Education Research Conference, College Park, MD.   
  • E.R. Sohr, B.W. Dreyfus, A. Gupta, and A. Elby, "Because math": Epistemological stance or defusing social tension in QM?, July 2015, AAPT National Meeting & Physics Education Research Conference, College Park, MD.   
  • B.W. Dreyfus, E.R. Sohr, A. Gupta, A. Elby, "Classical-ish": Negotiating the boundary between classical and quantum particles, June 2015, Foundations and Frontiers of Physics Education Research, Bar Harbor, ME.
  • V. Sawtelle, B.W. Dreyfus, B.D. Geller, E.F. Redish, J.S. Gouvea, C. Turpen, Designing and refining physics for biologists: The scaling up process, July 2014, Physics Education Research Conference, Minneapolis, MN.
  • B.W. Dreyfus, A. Gupta, E.F. Redish, Identifying blended ontologies for energy, July 2014, AAPT National Meeting & Physics Education Research Conference, Minneapolis, MN.
  • B.W. Dreyfus, B.D. Geller, J. Gouvea, V. Sawtelle, C. Turpen, E.F. Redish, Chemical energy in introductory physics for the life sciences, July 2014, AAPT National Meeting, Minneapolis, MN.
  • B.D. Geller, B.W. Dreyfus, J.S. Gouvea, V. Sawtelle, C. Turpen, Explanatory coherence in an introductory physics for life scientists course, July 2014, AAPT National Meeting & Physics Education Research Conference, Minneapolis, MN.
  • J.S. Gouvea, B.W. Dreyfus, B.D. Geller, V. Sawtelle, C. Turpen, "In biology we never explain…": The construction of epistemological stances in course experiences, July 2014, Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research, National Meeting, Minneapolis, MN.

  • E.F. Redish, C. Bauer, K. Carleton, T. Cooke, M. Cooper, C. Crouch, B.W. Dreyfus, B.D. Geller, J. Giannini, J. Svoboda Gouvea, M. Klymkowsky, W. Losert, K. Moore, J. Presson, V. Sawtelle, C. Turpen, and K. Thompson, NEXUS/Physics: Rethinking physics for biology and premed students, February 2014,
    Mid-Atlantic Regional Learning Assistant Workshop, College Park, MD.
  • B.W. Dreyfus, B.D. Geller, J. Gouvea, V. Sawtelle, C. Turpen, and E.F. Redish, Negative energy:  Why interdisciplinary physics requires multiple ontologies, November 2013, Bioscience Day, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
  • B.D. Geller, B.W. Dreyfus, J. Gouvea, V. Sawtelle, C. Turpen, and E.F. Redish, Like dissolves like:  Unpacking student reasoning about thermodynamic heuristics, November 2013, Bioscience Day, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
  • B.W. Dreyfus, B.D. Geller, J. Gouvea, V. Sawtelle, C. Turpen, and E.F. Redish, Negative energy:  Why interdisciplinary physics requires multiple ontologies, July 2013, AAPT National Meeting & Physics Education Research Conference, Portland, OR.
  • B.D. Geller, B.W. Dreyfus, J. Gouvea, V. Sawtelle, C. Turpen, and E.F. Redish, Like dissolves like:  Unpacking student reasoning about thermodynamic heuristics, July 2013, AAPT National Meeting & Physics Education Research Conference, Portland, OR.
  • J. Gouvea, B.W. Dreyfus, B.D. Geller, V. Sawtelle, C. Turpen, and E.F. Redish, Mathematical reasoning across the sciences:  The case of IPLS, July 2013, AAPT National Meeting & Physics Education Research Conference, Portland, OR.
  • E.F. Redish, C. Bauer, K. Carleton, T. Cooke, M. Cooper, C. Crouch, B.W. Dreyfus, B.D. Geller, J. Giannini, J. Svoboda Gouvea, M. Klymkowsky, W. Losert, K. Moore, J. Presson, V. Sawtelle, C. Turpen, and K. Thompson, NEXUS/Physics: Rethinking physics for biology and premed students, July 2013, AAPT National Meeting, Portland, OR.
  • V. Sawtelle, C. Turpen, J. Gouvea, B.W. Dreyfus, and B.D. Geller, A case study in leveraging biology experiences in physics, July 2013, AAPT National Meeting & Physics Education Research Conference, Portland, OR.
  • B.W. Dreyfus, B.D. Geller, J. Gouvea, V. Sawtelle, C. Turpen, and E.F. Redish, Negative energy:  Why interdisciplinary physics requires multiple ontologies, June 2013, Foundations and Frontiers of Physics Education Research, Bar Harbor, ME.
  • E.F. Redish, B.W. Dreyfus, B.D. Geller, V. Sawtelle, J. Svoboda, and C. Turpen, Creating a common thermodynamics, January 2013, NSF TUES PI Meeting, Washington DC.
  • C. Turpen, B.W. Dreyfus, and V. Sawtelle, Physics energy is not chemistry energy is not biology energy, January 2013, AAPT National Meeting, New Orleans, LA.
  • B.W. Dreyfus, B.D. Geller, V. Sawtelle, J. Svoboda, C. Turpen, and E. F. Redish, Students' interdisciplinary reasoning about "high-energy bonds" and ATP, November 2012, Bioscience Day, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
  • B.D. Geller, B.W. Dreyfus, V. Sawtelle, C. Turpen, and E.F. Redish, Research on students' reasoning about interdisciplinarity, November 2012, Bioscience Day, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
  • B.W. Dreyfus, B.D. Geller, V. Sawtelle, J. Svoboda, C. Turpen, and E. F. Redish, Students' interdisciplinary reasoning about "high-energy bonds" and ATP, July 2012, AAPT National Meeting & Physics Education Research Conference, Philadelphia, PA.
  • E.F. Redish, B.W. Dreyfus, B.D. Geller, V. Sawtelle, J. Svoboda, and C. Turpen, Developing a research-based interdisciplinary physics course for biologists, July 2012, AAPT National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.
  • B.D. Geller, B.W. Dreyfus, V. Sawtelle, C. Turpen, and E.F. Redish, Research on students' reasoning about interdisciplinarity, July 2012, AAPT National Meeting & Physics Education Research Conference, Philadelphia, PA.
  • B.W. Dreyfus, B.D. Geller, V. Sawtelle, J. Svoboda, C. Turpen, and E. F. Redish, Students' interdisciplinary reasoning about "high-energy bonds" and ATP, July 2012, SABER National Meeting, Minneapolis, MN.
  • B.D. Geller, B.W. Dreyfus, V. Sawtelle, C. Turpen, and E.F. Redish, Research on students' reasoning about interdisciplinarity, June 2012, TRUSE Conference, St. Paul, MN.
  • C. Turpen, V. Sawtelle, J. Svoboda, B.W. Dreyfus, and E.F. Redish, Conceptualizing "disciplinary" in research and design of interdisciplinary learning contexts, June 2012, TRUSE Conference, St. Paul, MN.
  • B.W. Dreyfus, E.F. Redish, and J. Watkins, Student views of macroscopic and microscopic energy in physics and biology, August 2011, Physics Education Research Conference, Omaha, NE.

 

 

E. F. Redish1[1], C. Bauer2, K. L. Carleton3, T. J. Cooke4, M. Cooper5, C. H. Crouch6, B. W. Dreyfus1, B. Geller1, J. Giannini1, J. Svoboda Gouvea1,7, M. W. Klymkowsky8, W. Losert1, K. Moore1, J. Presson9, V. Sawtelle1, C. Turpen1,9, and K. Thompson9



[1] Address correspondence on this paper to E. F. Redish, redish@umd.edu.

J.S. Gouvea, B.W. Dreyfus, B.D. Geller, V. Sawtelle, C. Turpen, “‘In biology we never explain…’: The construction of epistemological stances in course experiences,” Contributed poster, Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research, National Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, July 2014.

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